How to Know If Your Daycare Is Right for Your Child
Finding a good kindergarten is difficult. Cost that can be equivalent to paying off a second mortgage every month; waiting lists, which for some centers can last up to several years; plus worrying about how your child will adjust to the new daycare environment. With all these factors, it’s hard not to feel like you just need to take what you can find. But finding the right daycare is really all that is needed for your particular child.
For more obvious signs of poor childcare, parents can go online and check kindergarten licensing and any registered complaints or shortcomings. There are also a number of warning signs to watch out for, for example if your child is sick all the time. If this happens, then you have a health and safety issue, not fitness .
Find a kindergarten that suits your child
Aside from these more serious concerns, there is also the intangible question of whether the ideal daycare center is working for your child, which does an excellent job of caring for many children. Some kindergartens may be more suitable for your child, and some are not at all.
“There are kids who thrive in structured environments, and there are kids who thrive in other environments,” says Carrie Cronkey, director of marketing at Care.com .
Class dynamics, which can change as other children enter or leave, can also have a large impact on the quality of childcare in kindergarten. The question of personality and temperament also arises: some children do well in the entire class, while others may have difficulty in a larger group. For some children, being with classmates all day helps them open up; for other children, this may turn them off.
“There are kids who really thrive and thrive in small spaces,” says Kronki.
Signs your child may be unhappy in kindergarten
Some of the signs that your child is unhappy with kindergarten include crying upon arrival, personality changes, unwillingness to enter a building, and refusal to eat. If you receive frequent phone calls at home about tantrums or other behavioral problems, this could also be a sign. When it comes to assessing whether a daycare is appropriate, assuming there are no health and safety concerns, Kronki advises to be patient.
“There is always a balance between trusting and paying attention to your child, and the understanding that sometimes it takes a child a while to adapt to a new environment,” she says.
The transitions are difficult – even for adults – and doubly so when you are a young child. It may take some time to get used to the new kindergarten, but in many cases it is necessary to calm the child down and give him time to adjust to the new environment.
Open communication is critical
COVID-19 precautions make it difficult to determine if kindergarten is appropriate or not, because in many cases, parents are no longer allowed to enter the classroom. In the past, a parent could have a quick conversation with the teacher as they left school, or observe their child’s interactions with other children, which would go a long way toward identifying any potential problems or preventing potential problems.
Now it is much more difficult to understand what is happening. This is why it is now more important than ever to communicate regularly with your child care providers by phone or email. Often, if a child is experiencing difficulties, caregivers pay attention to the parents and report it. If they have problems, they will also have suggestions on what might help.
“Open communication with the child’s caregiver is very important,” says Kronki. “Open communication and teamwork is very important both for understanding if there is a problem, and for trying to solve it, and sometimes for deciding what might be better to disperse.”
After all, day care that works best for many children may not be best for your child – and that’s okay. Every child is different. If you are evaluating whether your daycare is right for your child, let your instinct guide you.
“Trust your intuition,” says Kronki. “Parents know their child better than anyone.”